The first stop on the second day of our Road Trip was at the Narembeen servo to refuel.

Roes Lookout

This elevated feature was named after Western Australia’s first Surveyor General, John Septimus Roe.

In 1836 Roe and George Fletcher Moore circumnavigated what is now the Central Wheatbelt. Accompanied by four mounted policemen they made a more or less a straight line transect eastward from York for about 220 kilometres. Repelled by impenetrable scrub and running short of water, Roe realised that water was to be found at the base of the large granite outcrops that are a feature of the south-west of Australia, extending from Cape Leeuwin north-east into the Great Victoria Desert.

Apart from locating water he used the granite outcrops to navigate his way roughly north-west for another 170 kilometres before turning west and heading toward the coast. Roe and his party travelled more than 750 kilometres.


On the way to the Military Museum at Merredin we stopped at the Collgar Windfarm.

After an hour or more at the Military Museum we headed to the Lookout at the Baandee Lakes. They were dry. Unimpressive.


We camped at Mindebooka Hill in the spring of 2016 while we refurbished C.C. Hunt’s wells at Burracoppin, Totadgin and Doodlakine, so I decided to revisit the hill and locate the track to the south that supposedly connects with the Bruce Rock-Doodlakine Road.

The track quickly deteriorated and we followed a creek bed until that became untenable. Another of my failed shortcuts.

We returned to the track that circumnavigates Mindebooka Hill and made our way to the bitumen the same way we came in.

A phone call to the Ardath pub revealed that the owner was going overseas and lunch was OFF. We went to the Bruce Rock pub.

Tourists can’t go past Shackleton without visiting Australia’s smallest bank.

Kokerbin Rock

Next stop on our Road Trip was Kokerbin Rock, reputed to be Australia’s third largest monolith, after Uluru and Mount Wudinna or perhaps Walga Rock, depending on which sources you accept.

Andrew was the only one energetic enough to climb to the summit.


The overnight camp was at Kwolyin Campground.

Mount Stirling

Next morning we stopped at Mount Stirling and climbed high enough to get some great views. An abandoned church is located at the side of the rock along the road to the Mount Stirling homestead.


Refuelling was a pressing issue so we headed to Cunderdin. Along the way we stopped at Youndegin, an often-visited location as part of our Explorers’ Wells’ Project.

Fuel at Cunderdin was cheaper than at Perth. On to Meckering, site of a destructive earthquake in October 1968.

We then wound our way through farming country around Jennapullin to our lunch stop at Toodyay.

The plan after lunch was to visit Joes Cage in the Avon Valley National Park.  Though there was a track that allowed access around the locked gate there was a reason for the block. Going down to the river would be easy enough but getting back up the rutted, slippery track would be problematic so we gave it a miss.

37″ muddies, lock diffs and a winch might change one’s perspective.

We drove through the Chittering Valley to the end of the Road Trip at Bullsbrook.



© Kim Epton 2018-2024
759 words, 2 photographs.
Photographs by:
Kim Epton
Michael Orr
Andrew Brooks

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